How to get started in the holiday lets business

Savvy investors in popular holiday areas are turning their attention to holiday lets. However, if you’re new to the holiday lets business, it can seem quite daunting. Where do you start?

Posted: December 5, 2023

How to get started in the holiday lets business

1. Set your goals and budget

There’s not a one-size-fits-all approach that works with holiday lets. However, the best place to start is to define your goals and budget. Set out your objectives, the amount you can invest (remembering to have plenty to furnish and prepare the  property), which attractive tourist area you wish to invest in, and whether you have a preference about the type of guests you want to target.

2. Choose a desirable property

Selecting the right property is crucial for success in holiday letting. Consider the following factors:

  • Location: Choose a property in a desirable, tourist-friendly area with good amenities and attractions, such as Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Essex.
  • Property Type: Opt for a property that suits your target audience – it could be a cottage in a market town, or large country home.
  • Facilities and amenities: Ensure your property can comfortably accommodate guests and offers essential amenities, or has scope to develop these.

At David Burr, we specialise in properties of this style. As such, we can help you choose an ideal property to invest in. Follow our advice for buying a holiday let.

3. Understand legalities

In England, there are some conditions you need to satisfy for your property to qualify as a furnished holiday let (FHL) which is carries with it certain tax advantages and ultimately means the property is treated as ‘commercial’ premises The criteria to qualify as an FHL includes the fact that the property needs to be fully furnished, and:

  • Be ready for holiday letting for at least 210 days each year
  • Be rented out for a minimum of 105 days each year
  • Not have long-term tenants for more than 155 days each year
  • Not have tenants for at least 31 days during the tax year.

4. Prepare the property

A well-furnished and stylish property attracts more guests and can command higher rental rates. Invest in quality furnishings and décor that create a welcoming and comfortable environment. Consider the tastes and preferences of your target audience when designing the interior. Don’t’ necessarily opt for the cheapest option as the up front investment will invariably translate into a higher yield over the course of time, not to mention hopefully higher quality furniture will last longer!

5. Property management

Decide whether you’ll manage your holiday let yourself or work with a professional property management company like David Burr. Professional management can handle everything from bookings and guest communication to property maintenance and cleaning. They can also provide valuable local insights and market expertise.

Importantly, the actual method of marketing should be considered. Local holiday sites with professional photographs and engaging descriptions are essential for making a strong first impression. Additionally, as experts we can help with your pricing strategy, including dynamic pricing models.

6. Guest experience

Providing an exceptional guest experience is key to gaining positive reviews and repeat business. Respond promptly to enquiries, maintain a clean and well-maintained property, and consider adding thoughtful touches like a welcome basket or local recommendations.

However, also establish clear house rules and guidelines for guests, covering topics like check-in/check-out times, pet policies and more. Communication of these rules is essential to ensure a smooth guest experience. A comprehensive welcome folder is a useful tool to impart necessary information to your guests.

7. Reputation building

Guests like recommendations. As such, encourage feedback and reviews. View feedback as constructive for helping you make improvements. Stay updated with industry trends and guest preferences. Continuously invest in your property and guest experience to keep your holiday let competitive.

8. Financial management

Keep meticulous records of income and expenses related to your holiday let. This will help you track profitability, manage taxes, and make informed financial decisions.

We are here to help you get started in the holiday lets business. Take a look at all the benefits of choosing David Burr to manage your holiday lets.

Posted: December 5, 2023   •   Posted in: Holiday Lets

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